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2018 World Cup: Muslim Players Shine In Group Stage

MOSCOW – The first round of the group stage of the World Cup 2018 ended on June 19 with four Muslim players named by FIFA as the ‘Man of the Match’ and two winning Muslim teams.

Sixteen matches have been played so far in the first round that featured seven Muslim teams participating in six matches. Senegal and Iran are the only Muslim teams that have managed so far to win their opening matches.

During the opening matches, the FIFA named Egypt’s Mohamed Elshenawy, Morocco’s Amine Harit, the Danish/Tanzanian forward Yussuf Yurary Poulsen, and Senegal’s Mbaye Niang as the “Man of the Match” for their outstanding performance in their matches against Uruguay, Iran, Peru, and Poland respectively.

Here are short profiles of each of these four players:

Mohamed ElShenawy

Elshenawy who plays as Egypt’s goalkeeper showed fantastic skills against Uruguay’s world-class strikers.

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The 29-year-old represented Egypt at U-18 level.

He plays for the African giant club Al Ahly SC of Cairo, Egypt.

Egypt counts on Elshenawy to bolster his options at the World Cup with his height, natural talent and psyche are sure to prove valuable to the Pharaohs.

Elshenawy declined receiving his Man of the Match award as the prize was sponsored by the beer maker Budweiser.

It’s noteworthy that wine and drinking alcohol is forbidden in Islam since they harmful substances.

Amine Harit

Amine Harit

Harit of Morocco

With his noticeable skills, the 21-year-old Moroccan Harit gave the Iranian defense some work to do when both team met few days ago.

Despite their loss against Ira, the skilled midfielder of the German Bundesliga Schalke 04 club has proven his worth to the Atlas Lions during several attacks.


Yussuf Poulsen

Poulsen prays to Allah

Poulsen prays to Allah

Poulsen, who hails like his father from the Muslim East African country of Tanzania while his mother is Danish, scored Denmark’s winning goal against Peru.

The tall forward can reliably win the ball in the air and has very quick feet. Poulsen, 24, who plays for the German Bundesliga club RB Leipzig proved valuable to the Danes since he first appeared at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Mexico 2011.


Mbaye Niang

Niang, scored Senegal’s winning goal against Poland in its opening math in the group stage giving the Islamic World its 2nd win in the current tournament and winning for Africa its first match.

The 23-year-old quickly turned heads thanks to his talent and forthright personality.

His qualities were impossible to ignore and soon began attracting admirers, with AC Milan taking the plunge in 2012.